Refinishing butcher block counter tops

Danielle B
by Danielle B
I love my wood block counter tops but I've been trying to come up with a way to refinish them so I could still get the max use out of them. I cut on them, not heavy duty prep work, but sandwiches, apples etc.. and I'm not opposed to the "gently used" look. This house is 120 years old so some aging just can't be avoided. I have been debating upgrading to a solid surface but have yet to find one that I love enough to spend the money on knowing I'll have to live with it forever once I do. Instead I decided to try changing the color of the counter. Natural butcher block once oiled is yellow/orange and with my terra cotta floor tiles and egg nog painted cabintets, I wasn't in love. I bought a quart of Varithane oil based wood stain in "bleached." I love driftwood and thought this would be a great way to neutralize all the orange in the room. After hand sanding the counters I applied and wiped off two coats leaving to dry for two days. I finished the counters with a coat of hand rubbed furniture wax. The finish is silky smooth and the water just beads up and off. I won't be cutting directly on the anymore as I'm not confident about how food safe this wax is, but that's fine. The end result is great. The kitchen looks lighter, brighter and bigger!
Danielle B
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
Join the conversation
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Mar 01, 2013
    I too am crazy about butcher block! But I am very careful to use cutting boards. We sealed our island top (the only place I have butcher block) and I am careful to keep it wiped. I also wipe it down with Clorox kitchen cleaner and it stays perfect! I wish I had BB through my entire counter tops!

    • See 1 previous
    • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Apr 04, 2017
      There is a butcher block sealer you can buy at the big box stores. You have to put on a 2-3 is sort of like a mix of wax/oil!

  • Jennifer Martinez Jennifer Martinez on Feb 24, 2014
    Awesome. Great job with the stain color.